Duck Duck…Duck

I must have been really tired when I wrote last night’s post — I was a little delirious and it doesn’t make as much sense on the web as it did in my head!

I’m trying really hard to write every day, but it’s a huge challenge, especially because I don’t want to end up sounding like a teen-angsty, emo blog (been there, done that. see: xanga.)

I even saved a list of “journal ideas” on my favorites bar at work so that I don’t have an excuse not to write. (You can call me a nerd if you’d like.)

I think that part of the reason this is so difficult for me is because I am secretly a foodie and wish that I was a.) a good enough cook and b.) was good with a camera so that I could write a food blog. I have plans to re-create one of my favorite cakes in the world tonight for shabbos, so maybe (if I’m feeling a little bit riskay) I will try and locate the digitcal camera to blog my baking adventures.

Since I’m not at home in my kitchen baking something scrumptious (I actually enjoy cooking more than baking – as much as I’d like to be a meticulous measurer and sifter, I actually hate the tedious repetition of those actions) and I need to go to the supermarket (which I was tempted to do on my lunch break but resisted once I remembered I was in center city where produce, grocery, and tax prices skyrocket), I will try to make the clock move a little faster by reminiscing about the dinner my husband prepared last night. Yes, he prepared dinner. Yes, he loves to cook. In fact, he’s a private chef, who owns his own business, The Cheffery.

So last night, Jonathan decided that he wanted to try out a new recipe that he’d been thinking about for a long time (seriously, I think that we could write a killer cook book if we just put our heads together and took the time to do it) and made….duck.

He cooked an entire duck. We bought it at a supermarket in Lakewood when we still had money (HA!) and it has been sitting in our freezer ever since. Since Jonathan’s business has been getting some catering orders, he needed the space in our freezer, so he decided he would cook the duck. And when I say “cook,” I am grossly undersating what he did to that duck. He brined it, marinated it, and smoked it. In tea.

Like I said last night, we live in an apartment on a busy street in a suburb right outside of Philadelphia, so I should have known something was up when I received a phone call from our upstairs neighbor. See, our apartment comes with a cute little balcony that we bought a cute little barbeque to go on (charcoal), and every time we attempt to use it, it results in a sea of white smoke and a campfire smell that drifts right past my neighbor’s living-room window. I, having worked late last night, had my phone on silent because I was giving a presentation, and missed her call.

So I was a little surprised when I walked into my apartment last night and my nose was tickled by the smell of something southern. I don’t especially like smoked foods (except for almost all kinds of smoked fish), but my poultry I like fried, roasted, poached, confit-ed, grilled, and pretty much any other way you can think of other than smoked. I wasn’t surprised to find Jonathan on the porch with a cigar and a glass of home-made sangria (I almost wish I was kidding) in hand, but I wrinkled my nose and said to him, “It smells like barbeque.”

“Good,” he replied, admitting the smell was the reason that my neighbor had called.

So we sat down to eat, and Jonathan brought over this gorgeous, glistening, amber duck with patches of a merlot stain. He put a slice of the breast on my plate, and as I lifted my fork to my mouth, I was so grateful he had decided to take that odd-shaped duck out of the freezer. It was heavenly. Warm, moist, and not too greasy. Jonathan has the ability to make foods taste like exactly what they are supposed to taste like. He makes chicken taste chicken-y, lamb taste lamb-y, eggs taste egg-y, pasta taste pasta-y, and I have yet to learn his secret. But last night, I ate the most duck-y tasting duck I have ever eaten.

Don’t believe me? Come over for shabbos lunch, because we’re serving the leftovers in a delicious duck salad.

I bet now you wish that we had taken a picture of that duck as much as we do.


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